Iconic beverage company Coca-Cola has famously kept its secret formula under wraps since its 1886 founding. While the legendary story of the elusive recipe has received a lot of press over the years, the most important driving force behind the global giant’s success is as apparent as its red and white label: Coca-Cola goes above and beyond to keep customers happy. So when Coca-Cola Germany wanted a technology platform to help take customer service to even higher levels, its choice was Salesforce.
When a company has been around as long as Coca-Cola, it sees a lot of customer service technologies and philosophies come and go. But with Salesforce, Coca-Cola Germany feels it’s found a solution that will be with the company for the long haul.
“In the past, big companies outcompeted smaller companies. But that’s history. Today, the fast companies outcompete the slow companies,” explained CEO Ulrik Nehammer. “We needed to get much faster, work on collaboration, connectivity, and scalability — and all that in a mobile context. Salesforce has been a fantastic partner and a great help for us.”
Impressed with its flexibility, Coca-Cola Germany is using Salesforce Salesforce Platform as the principal technology behind its sales and customer service efforts. The company is powering multiple parts of its business with custom apps built on this platform.
Thorsten Kohler, CEO of Your SL, Coca-Cola Germany’s Salesforce implementation partner, explained the platform and its scalability: “It’s like a big toolbox. Out of that toolbox you can quickly build new applications for any department in your company.”
Salesforce Platform also provides unprecedented connectivity. It’s an advantage Coca-Cola Germany didn’t find with other systems it had seen.
“We’ve seen a lot of systems, but they weren’t 100-percent connected. With Salesforce Platform, we all see everything at the same time,” said Nehammer.
Now, with departments from bottling locations to field reps using apps connected in the cloud on the Salesforce platform, the company is able to take care of customers as one big team.
“With everything connected on this platform, everyone knows what’s going on with our customers,” said Kai Uhlemann, head of mobile. “That’s very important for us.”
Coca-Cola Germany is now able to instantly solve issues that once took days just to spot. “We call it connecting the dots,” said Nehammer. “If there’s a delivery that’s gone wrong, immediately the customer sees it, the sales rep will see it, distribution will see it, and I see it.”
With the help of Salesforce, the company’s technical call center and repair departments are running like a precision machine.
With the previous system, the call center and repair department suffered from frequent downtime, slow mobile app sync-up time, and an overall unsatisfactory user experience.
With Service Cloud, call center support agents have instant access to customer history. They can log issues, generate work orders, and dispatch field service technicians via a custom field in the service mobile app — all in real time. The mobile app even plans out the optimal route for most efficiently completing the day’s service requests.
The company’s in-house repair facility, which formerly had technicians tracking their jobs on paper, has also been brought into the fold. Now connected to Service Cloud, technicians can alert customer-facing sales reps the moment repairs are completed. Overall, Coca-Cola Germany’s technical services departments have seen a 30% increase in productivity.
“This has been a massive step forward for us,” said Andrea Malende, business process expert and mobile solutions. “I’m amazed how quick and smooth the implementation was.”
Custom mobile apps integrated into Sales Cloud have also been a far-reaching component of Coca-Cola Germany’s account service advancements. Being able to stay totally connected to crucial customer data has done more than just allow work on the go. It’s helping the company make better decisions for customers.
“The most dangerous place to make a decision is in the office,” said Nehammer. “You need to make decisions where the customer is.” Retailers are enjoying the benefits too. Armed with tablets running these fully connected custom apps, field reps have the data to give retailers personalised service.
Beyond ordering inventory, reps are also tasked with helping create the most effective point of sale possible. Surveys are done to check if Coca-Cola promotional materials are being used and more. In the past, surveys were done manually and results could be slow to come. But, with the connected apps, all relevant team members are alerted immediately so issues can be remedied quickly.
With a legendary brand to sell and Salesforce’s cutting-edge technology helping power its efforts, Coca-Cola Germany is more excited than ever about its future in the market.
“We’re just getting faster and it totally excites me,” said Nehammer. “It’s a very important time in history to have a great brand coupled with great technology. We are on to something very, very special. Some would call it a secret formula.”